Tahoe Star Tours takes astronomy to new heights | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Star Tours takes astronomy to new heights

Travel to distant galaxies with Tony Berendsen, star guide, poet and president of the Northern Nevada Science Coalition.
Courtesy photo |

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Explore the wonder of the starry night sky with Tahoe Star Tours, the premier star gazing experience in North Lake Tahoe, sponsored by Celestron Telescopes.

Tahoe Star Tours has partnered with Northstar California Resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Adventure Company to offer participants distinctive opportunities to experience the night sky in the Sierra – whether it’s a traditional tour of the night sky, or one paired with activities such as kayaking, musical performances by Accent string quartet, or a “Space Jam” featuring a special guest speaker.

Star guide and poet Tony Berendsen, president of the Northern Nevada Science Coalition, leads each tour, featuring a lively science-based talk about the cosmos, poetry reading and telescopic with multiple telescopes provided by Celestron. These telescopes use leading-edge computerized technology for accurate pointing and tracking, with clear, clean images.

“This season, we’ll use Celestron’s 14-inch computerized telescope for the first time, allowing for deep space viewing of galaxies, clusters and nebulae,” said Berendsen.


Offered on select dates over the summer season, Tahoe Star Tours will provide a unique experience to enjoy Accent, the Reno, Nev.-based chamber music ensemble comprised of highly trained local artists. Tahoe Star Tours featuring Accent string quartet are offered July 27 and Aug. 17, with the artists performing live in the Butterfly Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Tickets are available for $75 for adults, and $50 for ages 18 and under online at http://www.NorthstarCalifornia.com.


Aug. 10, Mike Simmons, president of Astronomers Without Borders: Learn about Mike’s passionate quest to bring people from all over the world out under the starry skies we all share. Every April, the world celebrates Global Astronomy Month thanks to his efforts.

Aug. 11, Annette Markin and the Perseid Meteor Shower Americana-style: Annette will tell her story of restoring a 1959 vintage Shasta camping trailer she named Rosaly in order to travel the U.S. and experience the awesome beauty of North America.

Aug. 31, Tribute to Carl Sagan with Emily Lakdawalla, senior editor and planetary evangelist of the Planetary Society: Carl Sagan was an inspirational scientist and champion of raising public awareness of science and astronomy through is books, the Cosmos Series. Join Emily to honor Carl’s life and learn about her role as the Senior Editor of the Planetary Society.

Sept. 14, Tribute to Carl Sagan with Melodi Rodrique, Ph.D.: Melodi is an astrophysicist teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno, and co-founder of Tahoe Star Tours. She will join Tony in honor of Carl Sagan, sharing personal stories of inspiration and giving away a few of his books.

Tahoe Star Tours events are $30 for adults, and $15 for children ages 12 and under. Guests are encouraged to bring their curiosity and to enjoy the night sky free from the obstruction of city lights. Event dates, details and ticket information for all Tahoe Star Tours taking place at Northstar can be found online at http://www.NorthstarCalifornia.com.


A new opportunity this summer, visitors seeking a bit of adventure can experience Lake Tahoe at sunset with a guided kayak tour, followed by an illuminating star gazing session. Tours will include all kayak gear and knowledgeable guides, a Star Tour led by Tony Berendsen, hot drinks and snacks. These tours will be offered Aug. 12 and Sept. 7, and can be booked at http://www.tahoeadventurecompany.com for $75 per person.

Advance reservations for all Tahoe Star Tours events are recommended, and all tours are offered weather and conditions permitting.

Groups interested in coordinating their own Tahoe Star Tours event are invited to do so through Northstar California Resort by calling Adele Attix at 530-562-8024. For more information and the complete schedule of events, visit http://www.TahoeStarTours.com.


Tony Berendsen is an award-winning amateur astronomer residing in Reno, Nev. He is president of the Northern Nevada Science Coalition, a past president of the Astronomical Society of Nevada, and has been showing the skies above northern Nevada and California for the past 15 years, including five years at the Fleischmann Planetarium observatory in Reno. He writes astronomy articles for local publications, and specializes in astronomy outreach by conducting star gazing sessions of the Sierra sky. Every Tahoe Star Tours event is as different as the starry skies above, and each one opens with a poem, a compelling and passionate star talk, followed by telescopic viewing exclusively featuring Celestron telescopes, hot drinks and snacks bars by Nature Valley, the official snack of Tahoe Star Tours.

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